Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 73 Posted (8 years 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 16911 times:
Hello folks. This past Thanksgiving weekend, I visited family & friends in my native Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin. I paired up the most exotic and spectacular flights possible in the USA.
San Francisco – Minneapolis; Northwest 757
Minneapolis – Chicago; Northwest DC-9
Rode to Madison with family member in a Buick Roadmaster Limited
Madison – Milwaukee; Midwest CRJ-200 damn I wish it was a Dornier 328 instead
(operated by Skywest)
Milwaukee – Los Angeles (short stop in Kansas City); Midwest 717
Signature series Best Care 2+2 seating
Los Angeles – Oakland; Southwest 737 ticket purchased before SFO was offered and before Virgin America started selling tickets for route
Oakland – San Francisco, BART
Does anyone see a pattern?
Had a wonderful time over the extended Thanksgiving weekend. I had to somehow fit a Northwest DC-9 in to this trip as well as take advantage of Midwest Airlines 717 Signature Series 2+2 flights.
The SFO-MSP 757 flight marked the very first time I was able to sleep in coach. As many times I have flown, it has always been next to impossible to sleep in coach, no matter how sleep deprived I may be before the flight. Northwest must be doing something right.
When I purchased my tickets (months ago), I wanted to make sure my DC-9 was during daylight. The MSP – ORD DC-9 flights were 2 in the morning and the next were late evening with A320s throughout the day. Hence that is why I chose the red-eye to MSP to catch a DC-9 flight in to Chicago in the daylight.
The Minneapolis/Saint Paul airport is a great facility. Easy to find your way around, friendly staff and excellent for spotting. I had 3 hours to kill so what is one to do in their spar time at MSP? Visit the infamous Senator Larry Craig bathroom.
My gate was rather far from his restroom so I asked a young lady at a Caribou coffee stand where it was. She enthusiastically pointed me in the right direction. When I got to the general vicinity, I noticed the shoe-shine man that was covered in a Yahoo story about the event. He seemed embarrassed about the fact that he has somewhat became famous because so many people ask him about the restroom he works near.
I went inside just to wash my hands. I felt icky just being in that restroom. All I can say is that has to be a very sick puppy to get aroused by strangers in a public bathroom.
Now on to more fun things.
The Northwest DC-9 flight.
My last DC-9 flight was on SAS waaaaaaaay back in 1975 and I was only 2 years old and don’t remember but I have E6 slides with me on one.
All I can say is WOW! That is a very loud plane and a thrill to fly on. I picked the absolute best seat to have on a Northwest DC-9-50.
It’s just before the engine so you still get a view yet hear the wonderful sound of those JT8D engines roar. I recommend all aviation buffs that have not flown on a DC-9 to take advantage of the opportunity to fly on one. Glad that such a wonderful airline such as Northwest still operates them. More than half of the passengers were from a group based in Saint Paul that was participating in the Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago. I presume that they were going to be various characters such as a Mousse, Squirrel, and Beavers. Some were talking in character at the gate and throughout the flight. They were very friendly and entertaining people to be around.
I was hoping to land on 27R and get a view of the Chicago skyline over Lake Michigan with the DC-9 engine and wing cropping the edge of the photo but that didn’t happen. We ended up landing on 14R in the rain/sleet.
Had a wonderful time seeing family, eating tons of food and doing all that good stuff folks do on Thanksgiving. I also had that chance to squeeze in a visit to Giordano’s Pizza as well as grab a bite at one of America’s most classy fast-food restaurants; White Castle’s.
OK so what if there is bullet proof glass between the customer and the cashier, their burgers are damn good!
White Caste's tend to be in rough areas but worth the risk.
Near University of Chicago
Chicago skyline from LSD (Lake Shore Drive) approx. 4700S.
Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison
Then rode up to Madison, Wisconsin to spend a few days with my half-brother as well as friends I know that live there. Madison, Wisconsin is a place I fall in love with more every time I visit. This time it was nice & cold with some snow on the ground. (I miss those cold Mid-western winters), yet it only got down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Not as cold as it can get in Madison.
This time around, I happened to be in Wisconsin on a Friday so of course I had to take advantage of a Friday fish fry. I went to my favorite bar & grill in Madison; The Great Dane. The fish of the day was deep fried Perch. I had that with their Black Earth Porter.
As expected, the food was excellent, genuinely friendly service and the beers are world-class.
Black Earth Porter
Friday Fish Fry at The Great Dane
After the bars close, a popular place to feed those munchies is the Parthenon. It's a Greek greesy spoon that serve awesome gyros. Most the patrons are drunk after 2:00AM and want a bite to eat.
Here is a friendly older guy serenading two ladies as we all wait for or food.
Another highlight was the Essen Haus brewery. Man those folks can drink!
This place had many German style beers on tap in large beer mugs and steins. The guys wear Lederhosen and the women wear Dirndls.
The Essen Haus had a polka band that was incredible! The band members looked to be in their 60s & 70s but the crowd was mostly in their 20s & 30s. The placed was packed and everyone was getting drunk, dancing and having a great time.
My flight out of Madison was early in the morning and I was hoping to get an equipment sub. I had a CRJ-200 but was hoping to get a Dornier 328 but that didn’t happen. I could have flown on a Dornier 328 to Milwaukee but I would have missed the Signature series 717 best care 2+2 flight out of Milwaukee. Sadly, none of them fly to San Francisco. Instead they only send the Saver Series standard to 2+3 seating MD-80s out here.
If my flight leaving Madison was only 45 minutes later, I could have got an awesome shot of the Wisconsin state capitol building with Lake Minona and Lake Mendota being lit by the morning sun.
Inside Dane County Regonal airport terminal
The staff at Midwest Airlines far exceeded my expectations!
They have to be one of the best airlines in the world and certainly the best domestic carrier in the United States. It was surprising to see this quality of service on a post 9/11 flight on a domestic carrier. I can tell these good people are Midwest is committed to being the best domestic airline and providing excellent customer service.
Me and hundreds if not thousands of others in Milwaukee are so happy that they didn’t get gobbled up by that trashy low brow carrier down south in Atlanta (air tran). They would have just turned Midwest in to another low cost carrier.
Granted, Midwest was better 10 years ago back when they offered real silverware, Chinaware, table cloths and all the other good stuff you get in first class. Glad they still offer the 2+2 seating on their aircraft and fresh baked on-board cookies.
I had to buy a beverage that was distinctly Wisconsin that I can’t get on any other airline. Of course that would be Leinenkugels beer. Ok it’s not the best beer but it’s tied to Wisconsin just as Midwest Airlines.
I meant to take a photo of my Best Care meal but I was so damn hungry by the time the food came around and forgot to take the picture until my meal was half finished.
This was my first time on a 717 and I think it’s a shame that this aircraft is out of production. What a magnificent aircraft! Very comfortable too. Of course Midwest 2+2 seating configuration helps. My seat was 3D, way up front. The flight was virtually silent. I had the bookends of the DC-9/MD-80/717 family. The loudest plane of this series in the loudest seat 24-A on a DC-9 and the most silent of this series in the most quiet seat/section on a 717.
My seat 3D
I highly recommend flying Midwest 717 Signature Series flights if you can.
Oh and finally Southwest Airlines was a fun experience as always from Los Angeles to Oakland.
EXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 16502 times:
Quoting Superfly (Thread starter): Me and hundreds if not thousands of others in Milwaukee are so happy that they didn’t get gobbled up by that trashy low brow carrier down south in Atlanta (air tran). They would have just turned Midwest in to another low cost carrier.
i think that will happen anyway.....YX's 717s are going 2x3 Y and 2x2 J class
EIPremier From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1550 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 16271 times:
Thanks for the great report Superfly. I go to Wisconsin every summer to visit my relatives, and I usually fly Northwest through MSP. Northwest is an under-rated airline, and their hubs in MSP and DTW are great...much better than dealing with the hassle and delays in ORD on UA or AA (although Chicago is a great town). I also flew the NW A330 to Europe which was very good, and they still had free drinks in coach unlike AA or UA. Too bad the DC-10s are gone, but at least the DC-9s are going strong. I flew on a DC-9-30 last summer, and I love how they still power back from the gate in MSP.
My that Wisconsin fish fry and beer looks mighty tasty right now, and perch is my favorite.
I'd like to try the Midwest 717 some day, but their direct flights from LAX and SFO to MKE are always on the boring MD-88. And now Midwest is reconfiguring their signature aircraft to two-class configurations.
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 73
Reply 12, posted (8 years 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 16245 times:
Quoting EIPremier (Reply 10): Northwest is an under-rated airline, and their hubs in MSP and DTW are great
The worst hub/layover experience I've had was with Delta in Atlanta and Continental in Houston.
Quoting EIPremier (Reply 10): I also flew the NW A330 to Europe which was very good, and they still had free drinks in coach unlike AA or UA.
That is good to know. I've heard great things about their A330. I'd still prefer to fly on their 747-400 instead.
Quoting EIPremier (Reply 10): I'd like to try the Midwest 717 some day, but their direct flights from LAX and SFO to MKE are always on the boring MD-88. And now Midwest is reconfiguring their signature aircraft to two-class configurations.
The stop in Kansas City was painless.
That was the quickest turn around time I have ever seen. The plane was at the gate less than 30 minutes. Didn't even have to get off the plane.
You might want to book a Signature Series 717 flight from Los Angeles.
Quoting Buck3y3nut (Reply 11): Your picture with the boot glass reminds of the movie Beerfest.
I may have to check out that movie.
When ever I am in a city with a White Castle's, I must eat at one. I didn't know that New York had them until I saw the movie Saturday Night Fever. When ever I visit New York, I have to stop by a White Castle's as well.
MSNYX From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 131 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 15673 times:
I'm glad you enjoyed Madison so much and you're welcome back any time. It looks like you hit up a bunch of the famous restaurants. Next time, if you have time before your flight out, you should try The Jet Room; it's on the far side of the airport at the FBO--great food and great views.
By the way, what were the dates when you were flying?
[Edited 2007-11-29 09:54:18]
[Edited 2007-11-29 09:55:00]
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 73
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 15630 times:
Quoting EIPremier (Reply 15): All you needed was a cameo appearance by Ricardo Montalban.
If I worked in the marketing department at Midwest, I would have insisted.
Would like to meet up with a Madison area A.met member. I will check out that Jet Room next time I fly out of Madison.
I flew out Monday morning, November 26th at 6:05AM. My flight out of Milwaukee was at 9:05AM.
Quoting Rcardinale (Reply 17): I have always wanted to fly on a Midwest 717 they look gorgeous inside and out
Indeed it is.
Come to think of it, those seats remind me more of the 1978-1981 Chrysler LeBaron Medallion Edition and Town & Country wagon. The AMC Eagle Limited also had similar seats as well. Keep in mind, AMC was based in Kenosha Wisconsin. There might be a connection.
PanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 15545 times:
Every year after the Minnesota rodeo I attend, I always have my boots shined at the stand next to the Men's room in the Northwest Crossing.
I am double creeped out this year knowing that I was in MSP at the time of the "incident" involving Senator Craig, but also that I was on the I-35 bridge less than a month before that horrific collapse, at the same time of day and at the same speeds.
On a lighter note, I am glad you enjoyed your trip - if only all travellers enjoyed the experience as much as we do!!
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
Superfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40298 posts, RR: 73
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 15502 times:
Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 21): I am double creeped out this year knowing that I was in MSP at the time of the "incident" involving Senator Craig, but also that I was on the I-35 bridge less than a month before that horrific collapse, at the same time of day and at the same speeds.
Wow that is creepy. Glad you were not a part of that.
The reminds me. Back in 1998, I stayed at the Cedar Lodge near Yosemite National Park. That is were I met the infamous Cary Stayner who came to my room and changed alight bulb. I even said hello to him several times on my three night stay. Seemed like an alright guy.
Less than a year later, he was found to be the murderer of four women that had visited the Lodge. The sicko had fantasized about killing women since the age of 7.
Another thing that creeped me out was the American Airlines DC-10 crash at Chicago O'Hare.
We used to always fly American DC-10s from Chicago to Los Angeles. We had flown flight 191 several times before.
B747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17477 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (8 years 9 hours ago) and read 15274 times:
What a excellent TR,
The pics are really good.
Quoting Superfly (Thread starter): Seat 24-A.
It's just before the engine so you still get a view yet hear the wonderful sound of those JT8D engines roar. I recommend all aviation buffs that have not flown on a DC-9 to take advantage of the opportunity to fly on one
I really hope that I can fly in a DC-9 before NW retires them. Then I will go for seat 24A, seems like a really great experience.
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 32): Quoting Superfly (Reply 29):
I'll get my first 717 flight next week on Midwest Airlines Signature 2 2 seating flights.
I flew on YX's 717 (for a r/t PHL-MKE flight) about a year-and-a-half ago. You won't be disappointed.
Quoting Superfly (Reply 33): PHLBOS:
Was your Midwest flight anything like this?
Only my flights (PHL-MKE/MKE-PHL) were shorter; 2-hours long. Both flights offered Buy-On-Board meals along with the complimentary beverage & snacks; as mentioned before the freshly-baked cookies were served on my return flight (which was in the afternoon). Having only flown in Coach class on other carriers; I wasn't quite used to the extra room offered in YX's Signature Seating... in a good way, that is
Below-quotes from this thread:
Quoting Superfly (Thread starter): Me and hundreds if not thousands of others in Milwaukee are so happy that they didn't get gobbled up by that trashy low brow carrier down south in Atlanta (air tran). They would have just turned Midwest in to another low cost carrier.
While I have flown FL more often than YX (mainly due to where I was heading and most occasions on their 717) and have had decent experiences w/them; like yourself, I too, was glad that the FL-YX merger never happened. If nothing else, it means seeing 717s in someone else's colors besides FL.
Quoting Superfly (Reply 14): Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 13):
Dang! Those chairs look just like they came out of a '90 Le Baron!
Throughout the flight, I was wondering if those were Corinthian Leather I was sitting on.
Worth noting: the seats in FL's 737 Business Class use the same, exact Recaro seats that YX uses for Signature seat 717s; the only difference is that FL's upholstery color is dark blue to YX's tan.
Quoting Superfly (Reply 14): Quoting KevinL1011 (Reply 13):
Did you get a safety card? Sure it wasn't an MD series? If it was a DC-9, and you were in 24A, the smell of JetA and / or Skydrol should have been sweet!
Yes to all. I did snag a safety card and it was indeed a DC-9. I did enjoy the smell of JetA and / or Skydrol, which ever one it was.
Not to mention that all the DC-9 references that 'Fly mentioned (regarding his recent trip) were on Northwest; which hasn't flown the MD-80 for years. Anyone who's been on A.net long enough knows that NW still flies DC-9s.
Quoting Superfly (Thread starter): That is a very loud plane and a thrill to fly on. I picked the absolute best seat to have on a Northwest DC-9-50.
Imagine if you flew on that bird BEFORE the engines were hush-kitted.
Glad you liked them. I told you that you wouldn't be disappointed.
Quoting Superfly (Thread starter): This was my first time on a 717 and I think it’s a shame that this aircraft is out of production.
I hear you on that one. I've said this before and I'll say it again; had AA not returned TW's 717s and finished their (TW) remaining order (which was ultimately cancelled), production of the 717 would still be taking place today.
'Fly, if you're a collector of airliner models; SkyMarks offers a 1:130 scale model of YX's 717.
[Edited 2007-12-14 16:33:52]
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
: More importantly, the hardworking union employees of Midwest in Milwaukee are happy that they won't be under the thumb of that anti-union Atlanta-bas
: I agree w/the spirit of your post; I do believe that at least some of FL's workforce is indeed unionized. Herpa actually has one available: http://ww
: Hey Larry! Hows it hangin? Great TR as usual..but I guess only the best is expected from you right? Anyway, great to see you enjoyed yourself on the t
: I did a little more research on that and you are right. Thanks for the link. I'll make sure to ask Santa Clause to even me one of those for Christmas
: Glad you liked the trip. Those DC9's are a treat to be on! last time i was on one was ATL-MSP coming back from FCO (rome) back in late august of last
: Now what a trip. As a European, I can only dream of DC9s or 717s... And all that beer. Mmmh... Sadly, I am not even of legal age in the US.
: OMG I know the guy playing sax in the polka band, his name is Doug T. I'm friends with his daughter.
: Actually you can do it rather easily. Your Euro currency is much more valuable than our dollar so your money can go very far her, especially in Wisco
: yes, it's called not IFE whatsoever domestically except for west-coast to Hawaii. No video no audio.
: Or just wait a few months. And come to think of it... Spanair even flies 717 to VIE.
: Superfly, Did you fly into MDW or ORD on NWA? Was the White Castle pictured on 63rd and Cicero? Just asking because I love gettin some sliders and sp
: No. I went to the White Castle's on 79th. & Stony Island. South Chicago Avenue cuts through diagonally. I flew in to ORD. I've never spotted at the 6